The BP Business Challenge is a unique three-day learning programme to develop skills, connect students to their community and build their understanding of how successful businesses operate. This year it took place at Campion College.
“We are pleased to be running it again this year. It’s a great way for students to learn entrepreneurial skills in an environment where they are mixed up with students from other schools and have to form friendships and work together,” said Campion principal Paul McGuinness.
Students learn about starting and running a business, understanding the business planning process, and must create and articulate their own business plan.
They learn so much because of the unique environment, said Campion College head of social sciences Matt Smith.
“The challenge supports the education of our students in numerous ways. Most significantly it brings students together, allowing them to form teams and learn in an environment of collaboration.
“It promotes financial literacy, has an emphasis on encouraging students to think outside the box, promotes innovation and creativity, while fostering the skills most highly demanded by today’s employers.”
First they have to come up with a product and then they have to create a business plan. On the third day of the challenge, students must finalise their business plan, and prepare and deliver a short group presentation to judges.
Mr Smith said one of the highlights of the yearly event is seeing the change over the three days in the students’ confidence and self-efficacy.
“Many of the teams are formed from complete strangers on the first day. By the end of the week, lifetime memories and friendships have been formed.
“Another highlight is the commitment of the secondary schools to work together and unite for the betterment of young people from this region. The support from external agencies is fantastic and the event would not be possible if it were not for the support of the Gisborne Chamber of Commerce and the expertise, knowledge and skills of the Young Enterprise Trust.”
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